Meta has suspended seven accounts for conducting ‘surveillance-for-hire’ operations on 50,000 members. The Israeli-run Black Cube, which was hired by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, is one of the banned firms.
The US digital giant, which controls Facebook and Instagram among other services, claims to have uncovered huge surveillance operations that broke its terms of service. According to the business, they used Meta platforms to passively watch on users, engage them directly to trick them into providing critical information, and plant malware on their devices.
According to the business, the seven entities are part of a growing “surveillance-for-hire” economy fueled by social media’s connection. According to the report, such firms perform “indiscriminate monitoring” on behalf of their customers, focusing on dissidents, journalists, human rights advocates, and others.
The seven now-banned actors were discovered following a “months-long investigation,” and they worked in over 100 countries, targeting about 50,000 people. Meta said it will alert people affected.
“To help disrupt these activities, we blocked related infrastructure, banned these entities from our platform and issued Cease and Desist warnings,” Meta said. “We also shared our findings with security researchers, other platforms, and policymakers so they too can take appropriate action.”
Cobwebs Technologies, Cognyte, Black Cube, Bluehawk CI, BellTroX, and Cytrox are six of the private security organizations targeted by Meta’s retaliation. According to the business, hundreds of accounts linked to each of them were blocked.
After being suspected of going after victims of sexual harrasment at the hands of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the Israeli-based Black Cube agency garnered prominence. Meta’s assertions of malicious activity were dismissed by Black Cube.
While presenting Meta’s findings, security head Nathaniel Gleicher also brought up a recent Citizen Lab study, which accused the hitherto unknown North Macedonian firm Cytrox of infecting Egyptian dissidents’ phones with its Predator malware.
Source: RT News